Archive for January, 2010

VR Vimeo: “Ollie Mess” (Love Like Deloreans), by Video-Artist-In-Residence Samantha Cornwell

Sunday, January 31st, 2010

Ollie Mess— Love Like Deloreans from Samantha Cornwell on Vimeo.

In October 2009, Visitation Rites kicked off a virtual music video residency with Los Angeles video artist Samantha Cornwell. Our concept: Samantha pours through dozens of MP3 submissions from bands all over this wide, wide land, selects a few that tickle her imagination, and responds with a video representing her subjective experience of the sound. This video for Brooklyn’s Love Like Deloreans, a Kosmiche-inspired synthesizer trio who I swear lifted Union Pool half an inch off the ground last time I saw them play live, is the second installment of the project, which debuted with this video for “Demonzblood” by The Lame Drivers.

In the words of the video artist herself:

Sightings: White Car, “The Bridge”

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

White Car ep coverIt’s hard to take a descriptor like “nu-goth” seriously. First off, nu/new/neu anything automatically translates to “boring retread” no matter how many deep influences one cites (FYI: White Car is RIYL Front 242 — OMG!). More to the point, who really wants a goth revival? Sure, there were once some innovative bands that could loosely be described as goth (the whole UK Coil/Current 93/Nurse With Wound axis comes to mind), but how many Skinny Puppy records are being sold off wholesale by fashion-conscious thirty-somethings as we speak? On the other hand, seemingly irrelevant historical moments, like early Cabaret Voltaire, seem weirdly prescient in light of the inexplicable success of Cold Cave.

Arthur Radio: The Retro-Future Episode, with Visitation Rites and Chocolate Bobka

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

tlautopiaPostcard for Walt Disney’s Tomorrowland Autopia, 1955

Trekking in the January sleet into the far corners of darkest Bushwick has its rewards. Last Sunday, McGregor from Chocolate Bobka and I had the pleasure of doing an hour-long guest spot on Arthur Magazine‘s new weekly emission on Brooklyn’s Newtown Radio, broadcast out of a unexpectedly cozy enclave on the fourth floor of an unmarked industrial warehouse. The subject du jour was Retro-Futuristic Utopias, so I arrived at the studio expecting to pull together a spiel on Walt Disney’s Tomorrowland Autopia, the Ecological Art movement of the late 1960s, and Douglas Trumble’s 1971 science-fiction classic Silent Running. Instead, we ended up spinning some warped 21st century psychedelia, eating cookies courtesy Arthur Radio co-host Harry Painter’s grandma, and dancing like the slow section of a slow school.

VR Vimeo: Big Troubles – “Drastic and Difficult” – Live at Le Poisson Rouge, January 20, 2010

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

Big Troubles- Drastic and Difficult at Le Poisson Rouge 1.20.10 from Brendan Toller on Vimeo.

Today is a big day for Visitation Rites. After subsisting for months on expired Trader Joe’s enchiladas, spotty café internet connections, and 99 cent dreams, we are now to ready to step it up to the major leagues of grassroots music blogdom and strike out with our own “TV on the Vimeo,” which VR-consultant and “internet personality” Jon Williams christened thusly last night. And while it may be hard to believe, we didn’t have to suffer through months of flashing Aunt Jemima and belly-fat-reduction banner ads in order to pull it off, because we took those off the site a long time ago. Actually, all we needed was a video camera, a bedroom editing lab, and my very lovable roommate Brendan Toller who, I am finding out, just so happens to be the man behind I Need that Record, a documentary on the death (and possible survival) of the independent record store featuring the likes of Thurston Moore, Ian Mackaye, Chris Frantz, Noam Chomsky, and Lenny Kaye.

Sightings: Future Shuttle and Blondes Jam from Matchless to the Moon

Monday, January 25th, 2010

Future Shuttle / Blondes Jam @ Matchless, Part 2 from Camilla Padgitt-Coles on Vimeo.

This one creeps up on you. I have yet to catch a live voyage by the two Brooklyn space cadettes who record under the name Future Shuttle, but there sure is some lovely gravitational tug-and-pull going on in this collaboration with Blondes, whose beats always drive hard towards center of the earth. And I wouldn’t ordinarily expect the whoooop of this loop to provide enough knob fodder for an entire song, but these four former Oberlin chums somehow manage to extract mile upon three-dimensional mile out if it. Are we really hearing just the same thing repeated over and over again? Each time they edge in with new frequencies, I have to do a double-take.

Reviews: Steve Gunn, Boerum Palace (Three-Lobed)

Sunday, January 24th, 2010

l_92bdc10105ad4cc1bf8eef4c7c12ac6dThe underground is currently experiencing a golden age of solo guitar activity. Although tragically overshadowed by the death of Jack Rose, 2009 was a watershed year for experimental and classically minded operators, including crucial releases from major players spanning the stylistic pantheon. Sir Richard Bishop, Tom Carter, Pete Nolan, Glenn Jones, and Mr. Rose himself (solo and with The Black Twig Pickers) were joined by debuts from the likes of Willie Lane (whose debut solo outing Known Quantity, released on his own Cord-Art Imprint, was one of the most slept-on releases of the year), and Steve Gunn.

Sightings: James Ferraro with Zac Davis at Death by Audio in Brooklyn (November 5, 2009)

Saturday, January 23rd, 2010


“I don’t know what my art is about. I don’t know what my life is about. My work just happens like shit. Shit isn’t moral. It just comes out.”
— Totally unrelated artist’s statement, discovered on the wall of a coffee shop in North Brooklyn on October 23rd, 2009.

Video courtesy Olde English Spelling Bee / Future Sound.

Reviews: Whitehaus Family Records Mecha-Post

Thursday, January 21st, 2010
the-whitehaus-family-record-c2bb-about-1Ad For “The Whitehaus Family Record Family Record,” coming soon on The Whitehaus Family Record

As we shift from the decade of America’s horse into the year we make contact, the Googleplex blogosphere seems to be rendering record labels pretty much obsolete as distribution networks. They are, however, becoming are increasingly important as aesthetic umbrellas, harboring like-minded projects as the latter blow their loads into the soil and sprout great froot. Of course, this only really applies to labels that can be considered “indie” or “DIY” in some way; the fact that a record is on Warner Bros. tells you nothing about it, whereas when you hear that a record was dropped by Southern Lord, Load, or Not Not Fun, you can usually make a pretty accurate guess as to what it will sound like.

Reviews: Some Twerps from Australia Drop Self-Titled EP on Chapter Music/Night People

Tuesday, January 19th, 2010

l_465867627bd75b563e06daf4689037c5Lazy internet journalist types would have you believe that Melbourne’s The Twerps are the Australian Real Estate. This comparison may make sense in the hallowed halls of MP3 hype, but it doesn’t hold much water upon closer aural inspection. If dudes playing guitars and singing earnestly makes them Real Estate soundalikes, then we’re in trouble. Regardless of your entry point to The Twerps’ world, the group recently released their debut recordings on the lovely Night People label (in the perennially beloved cassette format) and Australia’s Chapter Music (in the increasingly popular 7” + Bonus CD format). The Twerps cover a lot of ground here in 25 minutes and 9 tracks, from the tossed-off spoken word of “Dance Alone” to “Drunk On Me,” an acoustic ballad which nails woozy high school relationship drama with uncanny precision.

Sightings: Best Coast/Jeans Wilder Split 7 Inch

Saturday, January 16th, 2010


If you are a lady, and indie rock musicians have been swimming the waters of your dating pool of late, you will probably identify with at least one of the stories of misguided infatuation and disappointment that Best Coast has been laying out to dry in the sun. Bethany Cosentino is all heart, belting out her little lovesick pop jewels like its 11:59 on December 31, 2011 and she knows that the world is going to end anyway. When it sparked a viral frenzy via this YouTube fan video last summer, her “Sun Was High (So Was I)” track became everybody’s favorite soundtrack for staring straight into the late afternoon sun and imagining the face of the one that got away smiling back at you. “Up all night,” which has also been floating around for some time now, captures the nocturnal flip-side of that experience: looking up at moon from your bedroom window and being unable to see his mournful hazel eyes there because it’s already three am and he didn’t call when he said he was going to. Oh well, child star. He wasn’t really worth your time anyway, and at least you got another beautiful song out of it.